Black Friday traditionally is the biggest shopping day of the year; it kicks off a huge holiday season. Customers intend to shop till they drop. According to Adobe, US consumers spent roughly $3.34 billion on Black Friday Sales in 2016. No wonder that ecommerce merchants strive to take their share of such enormous earnings.
Holding a lucrative Black Friday sale involves a lot of work and can be nerve-racking for online retailers as they get ready to handle an extensive flow of sales. This checklist is created to help you ensure that the holiday season would bring record-breaking profit. So let’s dive into it.
Optimize your webstore
Try to see your webshop through the customer’s eyes. Browse the catalogue, pick what you like and follow the ordering process step by step; then test again from a mobile device. Make sure that the procedure is always clear and the site isn’t slowed down by any widget. Keep in mind that time is very important – on a busy shopping day seconds can make or break the sale.
You may discover that you need a fancier catalogue, better product images, or a simpler checkout. It’s also good to figure out how you are going to handle the abandoned carts. No matter how cool your goods are, a number of shoppers would not complete the purchase for various reasons; but you could re-engage them later on. Once you’ve listed the features you need, go ahead and modify the webstore.
Ensure that your webshop can withstand the flow of traffic
Flooding concurrent requests can bring your store down for hours, and it would ruin the party. Of course, it takes loads of traffic to actually happen, but you better be safe and assure that your servers can manage the high peaks.
Check the inventory
Is your inventory healthy? You should have enough items in stock to satisfy all customers. Get a pile of bestsellers and featured products, because you can anticipate a high demand on those. It’s also reasonable to hide low-stock and out-of-stock items. Choosing several goods in a row that aren’t available immediately is very frustrating for buyers during the holiday rush.
When you are done with the technical set up, add some marketing and creativity.
Offer special deals
Discounts should be at the top of your grand sales plan. Shoppers expect low prices on those days and browse online stores for the best deals. However, simply cutting all the prices down is not the best decision for a small business, you want a profitable season. Think of valuable deals that would be appealing for your consumers and at the same time wouldn’t hurt your bottom line. For instance, you can:
- Offer coupon codes for certain customer groups;
- Sale particular collections;
- Give each second product away with a discount;
- Spread the love and offer small gifts with minimum purchase;
- Offer free shipping.
Emphasize sales with eye-catching banners
Remember, visuals always work! Add some festive graphics to your site to draw clients’ attention to your holiday specials. A graphic designer does that in the perfect world, but free stock images would work just as well. Keep the imaginary coherent site-wide to make it add to your store’s style.
Start a countdown
What is the best way to warm up the shoppers and set them ready to the big shopping day in your store? Start a countdown, of course! It performs as a psychological trigger and sets your clients in the right state of mind. Make people eager about the upcoming deals!
Launch email campaign
Use Black Friday and Cyber Monday as an opportunity to reconnect with your subscribers and loyal customers. Send out emails with the schedule of your sales and the benefits you are going to offer. Reward your clients with exclusive coupon codes or gift cards attached to the letter. Announce some very special sale only for subscribers. Treat customers with love, and you will get the love back!
Fire up social networks
Nowadays social media is an extremely powerful promotional tool, so use it to the full. You can post sneak-peaks or “last-chance” reminders, run contests or giveaways and do whatever else you come up with to create a buzz around the holiday season in your store. If you also consider using paid content, target the campaigns carefully to get the most out of this investment.
Bare these tips in mind while getting ready for the next BFCM rush and give your sales a rocket start. If you have other hints on how an ecommerce store should handle holiday season, please share them in comments below.